Wearable payment technology could be the future of banking

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Wallets and purses may soon be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Bankwest has begun a 400-person trial of wearable payment technology as it examines the way contactless payments will evolve.

Over 12 weeks, each willing participant will use either a key fob, fitness-style wristband or a clip attached to their own watch strap to make their everyday purchases.

Bankwest Managing Director Rowan Munchenberg says the move is a positive and bold test of new technology.

“We’re really excited by where this toe in the water trial could take us. We need to continually evolve and adapt to meet the quickly changing needs of our customers,” Mr Munchenberg said.

“Our customers’ lives are so varied and so we need to look at offering a range of payment methods that fit their lifestyles. Students, self-employed, retirees, regional or metro – there really can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach anymore.

“We’ve already launched mobile payments with Android PayTM and we’re keen to explore other new products and ways of doing things. We can then learn from those experiments to see what really can make things easier for our customers.”

The trial is the result of one of Bankwest’s regular hack days, at which employees brainstorm new and novel solutions to provide better experiences for customers.

The trial’s volunteer participants will provide detailed feedback on their experience of the wearable technology.

Behind the scenes, the bank will also gather data on how people used the new tech in conjunction with the contactless feature on their existing debit and credit cards and phones.

“We think we’ll see people starting to adapt to whatever comes to hand most easily,” said Mr Munchenberg.

“If they’re buying petrol and have their keys in their hand they may well pay with their key fob. If they are out for a run and stop for a drink, they could swipe their wristband. The technology is just as secure as in people’s cards – it’s just in a different form,” he added.

At the trial’s conclusion, the data and feedback will be analysed with a view to offering customers wearable devices that meet their individual needs and preferences in the future.

What do you think? Would you ever do away with cash and credit cards and adopt wearable payment technology?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 30
  1. 0

    This site has had a number of articles about money, specifically to do with housing and in a way this ties in. Back when we were all much younger and got handed a pay envelope with cash inside, we took out what was needed to be banked and used the rest for what was needed to be bought such as food, clothing,fuel etc. Budgeting was relatively simple and involved putting a hand in a pocket or purse to see if we had enough to do what we wanted. I can see the merits of this new system but I wonder if it’s what we need.

    • 0

      Yes Old man, i don’t think we need it at all it is the and will benefit the rich, thats it, I think keeping it simple and worrying about other things should be put to the forefront.
      technology is great, i don’t think we need to go down this road YET

    • 0

      Yes baby it will certainly help the wealthy keep the poor workers under control if they control every aspect of wallets and purses.
      Once I would have trusted them but those days are long gone. The Elite are not trustworthy at all.

  2. 0

    Consider this scenario. You are out with a friend/partner etc and the other person is at the counter purchasing something with the new technology which you have but are not using. You put your hand on your friends shoulder joking about something, swiping your wrist watch or fob over the swipe machine but you think nothing of it, after all there are no purchases being made at that particular time. You check your bank balance a few days later to pay a bill and you notice the exact amount of your friends purchase has been taken from your account, you check with your friend and the amount has also been taken out of their account. You realise that somehow your credit information was used in a shop where you purchased nothing. You ring the bank and are asked “Can you prove this, your credit information came through on this transaction?” You repeat the story again and are adamant that you did not purchase anything (which you didn’t) and they refuse to refund your money and inform you will need to go to the shop to ask them to credit your account.
    Now before you all jump up and down it has already happened with the credit card on the phone. The other thing people need to realise is if you inadvertently swipe over the machine, the machine will store those details for the next purchase. No I won’t be getting into this technology at all because it makes you more vulnerable to accidental purchases. If your credit card is in your purse/wallet they cannot accidentally charge you (unless of course its a fraud issue or hack issue, but that’s a different article).

  3. 0

    like with credit cards this technology is not secure, if it’s on your wrist anyone (and I mean anyone) can take the information and drain your accounts, NOT GOOD, stupidity in it’s finest since the technology is nowhere near secure, unless you want your wrist enclosed in an aluminum shell

  4. 0

    Welcome to the cashless society!.Big Brother is alive and well, watching your spending habits and cutting off your bank account if the Sh1t hits the ventilator. (see Cyprus banking and India’s currency disaster, Venezeula also. ).
    The Paywave was the thin edge of the wedge. I won’t use it. Won’t before long and cash is deemed non legal tender so better get your stash out and spend it.

    • 0

      yes, it only needs a wide spread trojan or virus in the banking system and we r all screwed. An enemy could be in the gates, so to speak. No fuel, food, medicine no money in a cashless society.

    • 0

      Chris viruses in the banking system are unlikely as they work on a designated isolated system protecting your transactions and pins.
      The weakest point is at the transaction POS and ATM terminal where people are being easily tricked.
      Both the commercial theft of our shopping trends, the physical theft from skimming devices, and the ability for banks and the government to charge fees and taxes on all transactions (another form of theft).

  5. 0

    It is a process. We have paperless bills now. We mostly don’t carry around cash. We shop online, manage our bills online and keep track of our money online.
    I like it.
    Gradually, everyone will do this, not tomorrow, but in the future.
    Technology is a reality like global warming.
    Move with the times.
    By the time this is all happening today’s oldies will not need to worry about it because we won’t be here.

    • 0

      I thought that the term “global warming” had been replaced by “climate change” as the temperature hasn’t increased in the past 20 odd years. It’s only a reality for some scientists and there is a like group which disagrees.

  6. 0

    I have never felt the need for a “swipe” payment system.

    In fact I discovered it had been added to my debit card, without my approval, I demanded & got from my bank a new debit card that does not have the swipe facility.

    Cleverly they thought to trap me, as this card can not be used to withdraw money, or on the net. Big deal, I also don’t use any card on the net EVER. PayPal avoids all this garbage.

    • 0

      My debit card without the swipe facility was replaced with one that did. I rang the bank and they have disabled it and if I am still not happy they will send me a new card without it. So I said I’d try it and if it’s not disabled I will request a new card without it.

  7. 0

    I have a family member (retired from the computer industry) who is determined to leave a minimal digital footprint. No matter how difficult paying bills is becoming that member is going to great lengths to avoid the tracking techniques.
    Of course it is a well justified concern but most of us have been forced to give up privacy and security for convenience. Its not necessarily a good thing at all.

  8. 0

    cashless society is fraud with danger.if technology breaks down due to fire ,sabotage war etc every one would be stuffed including the government.its for idiots .

  9. 0

    I don’t like the idea for a number of reasons. Now if a surcharge is payable I can use cash or BPAY. The zero interest bound would also be breeched allowing for negative interest charges on all your funds with no ability to go to cash to prevent it.
    Our grid was down for almost a week recently. Nothing but cash transactions were available for several days in my local area.
    I was in Athens the night of 8/8/07 and was terrified at the thought that only the cash I had on me might be viable on the 9th with credit and ATMs in shutdown.
    People who see this as a viable idea have no idea of how fragile our credit system is and not much knowledge of economics.
    I can see either US dollars replacing our money as the US will never do this and US dollars are spendable everywhere or crypto currencies springing up all over and that is unregulated. I travel now with enough $US in cash to get me home from where ever.
    This is another fascist idea that sounds good in theory and will simply add a layer of risk and cost to holding cash as savings simply by destroying the zero bound.

  10. 0

    Has any one tried the new touch screen Comm. Bank A.T.M. I did and failed. A line of some 10 or more did and all failed. When the Comm.Bank was notified they said there was a problem. Change for the sake of change, the old system worked great.We were also told the new screens would have to be cleaned all the time so as to be workable .

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